Today, Friday September 01
God Is Faithful to Chasten Us
“But You have cast off and abhorred, You have been furious with Your anointed. You have renounced the covenant of Your servant; You have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. You have broken down all his hedges; You have brought his strongholds to ruin. All who pass by the way plunder him; He is a reproach to his neighbors. You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries; You have made all his enemies rejoice. You have also turned back the edge of his sword, And have not sustained him in the battle. You have made his glory cease, And cast his throne down to the ground. The days of his youth You have shortened; You have covered him with shame. Selah”
Psalm 89 proclaims the faithfulness of God! The inspired writer of this Psalm was probably in captivity in Babylon with the people of Israel. As he reflected on the present condition of Israel he began to think about the character of God and His past faithfulness of God to the nation (vv. 1-18). The writer not only thought about how God is faithful in His character, but that God Is faithful to His covenant and we should trust Him. From verse 19 to verse 37, it is the Lord who speaks, and He reminds us of what He did for David.
Now in verses 38-45, we find that God Is also faithful in His chastening. Again, the psalmist faced the question: "If God did so much for David, why did his throne and crown fall in defeat and disgrace?" The answer is simple.
It is because the terms of His covenant declare that the same Lord who blesses the obedient will also chasten the disobedient. The principle applied not only to David's successors on the throne (vv. 30-37; 2 Sam. 7:12-15) but also to the nation of Israel collectively (Deut. 28).
Several times we read about this truth in the Scriptures. In Proverbs 3:12 we are told, "For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights". This verse is quoted in the New Testament in Hebrews 12:5-6, “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives." Then the writer of Hebrews continues to tell us in verse 7-8, “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.” A proof of our sonship in God’s family is His chastening when we sin. It is also a sign of His love for us!
Because of their disobedience and self-will, many of the kings of Judah were chastened by the Lord, but the Lord never broke His promise to David. The "witness" in verse 37 is probably the Lord Himself in heaven, but the constancy of the heavenly bodies is also a witness to the faithfulness of the Lord's promises (Gen. 8:20-22; Jer. 31:35-36; 33:19-26).
The psalmist told the Lord what He had done to Judah's anointed king, the descendant of David. Notice how he repeats the word “You”, referring to the LORD. The Lord was angry with the kings because of their sins, especially idolatry (v. 38), so He permitted the Babylonians to come and ravage the land, destroy Jerusalem, and burn the temple (vv. 40-41). To Ethan, the Lord was actually aiding the enemy! (vv. 42-43).
The glory of God had once more departed from the temple (v. 44; see 1 Sam. 4:21-22; Ezek. 8:1-4; 9:3; 10:4, 18; 11:22-23) because the leaders had turned their backs on the Lord and turned to idols. It appears that verse 45 applied especially to King Jehoiachin. He was the last ancestor of David to sit on the throne of Israel before the captivity. He was only eighteen years old when he became king and he reigned for three months and ten days (2 Kings 24:8). He then became a captive in Babylon for thirty-seven years where he died.
The next king to sit on the throne of David will be King Jesus! That will happen after the seven-year tribulation when Jesus returns to the earth and sets up His Millennium Kingdom. But before Jesus could receive His crown of glory in His Kingdom, He first needed to fulfil Scripture and receive a crown of thorns. In Isaiah 53:5-6 we read, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Jesus took our chastisement upon Himself, as God laid on Him our iniquities, so we could receive His peace!
We have a choice to receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ or we can reject Him. By God’s grace, one day I made the choice to receive this great free gift and I trust you will do the same!